Lectures on Chagall

Lectures range from 30 to 90 minutes including a question and answer session, and are tailored for each audience depending on size, venue, alloted time, special requests, etc. Lectures marked by an *asterisk contain selected readings from fitting Biblical passages.

*Chagall and The Bible

 From his earliest years in Vitebsk, Belarus, Chagall was fascinated by the Bible.  The lecture and the visual presentation covers seventeen major paintings from Genesis and Exodus, and the Song of Songs. These works are on permanent display at the Chagall Museum in Nice, France. Also included in the lecture are the stained glass windows of The Creation of the Earth, the famous harpsichord painting of Rebecca and Isaac, and a mosaic of the Prophet Elijah.

*Hope, Peace, Reconciliation and Love: The Messages of Marc Chagall in His Art and Literature.

Few people realize that Chagall had a pronounced literary ability equal to that of his art. An overview of the artist’s love of reading and writing both poetry and prose is given in this lecture, accompanied by a presentation displaying the artworks that inspired his writings.


Illuminating the Brilliance of
Marc Chagall

This lecture is devoted to the monumental 20th century artworks by Marc Chagall. The history of each artwork will be presented with commentary as how the works were initiated to their completion. The discussion will cover paintings, ceramics, tapestries, stained glass windows, mosaics, and works for the theater. All these great artworks represent the messages of Marc Chagall: Hope, Peace, Reconciliation and Love. 


Chagall and Chicago

This lecture is devoted to the three major Chagall works created for the city of Chicago -- a mosaic, The Four Seasons, at Dearborn and Monroe, the America Windows at The Art Institute of Chicago and the Job tapestry formerly at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and now at the Shirley Ryan Abilitylab.  Also included in the discussion are the two famous Chagall paintings on display at the Art Institute of Chicago – the White Crucifixion and The Praying Jew.

Elvis and Chagall

What do a famous artist and the King of Rock and Roll have in common? How did Chagall’s and Presley’s great passion for their art give these two artists a profound commonality is explained during this unique lecture. Their artistic passion was grounded in a deep respect for religion. They insisted on total control of their art, both needed women in their lives for inspiration and to sustain their sense of creativity. The multi-media lecture will feature a presentation of paintings by Marc Chagall and musical background by Elvis Presley.

*The Jerusalem Windows: The Twelve Tribes of Israel

Among Chagall’s crowning achievements in the media of stained glass are the twelve windows he designed for the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem.  Each of the windows represents a tribe of Israel. Chagall filled them with a dazzling assembly of animal forms, heavenly bodies and other elements symbolic of each tribe.

*The Windows of Reconciliation:
St. Stephan Church in Mainz, Germany

This lecture on the windows was first suggested by the parish priest, Klaus Mayer. The windows were designed by Chagall for the apse of the church in 1973 as a sign of love, peace, hope and reconciliation for France and Germany, and for Christians and Jews.  Use of projected images illustrates each section of the windows.  The lecture contains a detailed analysis of the artwork as it coincides with Chagall’s passion for the Bible.

*The Christ Configuration of the Crucifixion and Resurrection in the Artworks of Marc Chagall

This power point presentation will have readings from the New and Old Testaments including the Hebraic interpretation of The Prince of Peace - Jesus and The Prophet of Peace - Isaiah. The messages of Marc Chagall in the lecture are: hope, peace, reconciliation and love. The end of the lecture will be a review of the visuals with Elvis Presley singing Amazing Grace.

Chagall and the Women in His Life

A discussion of the part the women in Chagall’s life played in his becoming one of the greatest artists of the 20th century; his grandmother, mother, six sisters, his two wives, Bella Rosenfield and Vava Brodsky, his companion Virginia Haggard, his daughter Ida and granddaughters, Bella Meyer and Meret Meyer.  The lecture includes images of paintings influenced by each woman, and also features the writings of Bella and Marc Chagall.

Flowers by Chagall

"Art is the increasing effort to compete with the beauty of flowers - and never succeeding." Such were the words of Marc Chagall. A passion for nature in the form of flowers, trees, birds and animals fill the artworks of Chagall. His love of flowers and his interpretation of these wonders of nature are consistently found in every form of his magnificent creations. This lecture will bring this concept of how Chagall brought his love of flowers to his numerous works of art. Flowers were consistently present in his studio to give him inspiration and for making his artistic ideas become reality. 

Chagall in Israel:  Exploring Chagall's Artistic and Spiritual Legacy

Although some of Chagall’s biographers have thought his relationship to Israel was linked to a commission illustrating the Bible, actually his first trip to Palestine in 1931 heightened his enduring bond with his Hasidic Jewish heritage.  He maintained close ties with artists, art historians, politicians, writers and businessmen, in Israel extending the depth of his involvement with each of his seven visits.  This lecture examines these artistic pilgrimages which serve as an introduction to his paintings and other artwork that he donated to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv Museum.  In addition a sampling of sketches, drawings and other works found in both private and public collections is included in the lecture.


The English Woman in the Life of
Marc Chagall

A fascinating look at one of the women who had a profound influence on the work of Marc Chagall.  Virginia Haggard McNeil spent seven years with Chagall from 1945-1952.  During that time the artist’s prolific output in various media included oil paintings, ceramics, and design of sets and costumes for ballets.  Their companionship was very special and filled with love. Samples of the artwork produced during their relationship, and some of their letters to each other will be illustrated in a power point presentation accompanying the lecture. 


The Monumental Works of Marc Chagall:  Stained Glass Windows, Tapestries and Mosaics

The message of Chagall’s monumental works are present in public places in: Israel, Switzerland, the United States, England, France and Germany. These works are the inspiration for the message, “You can get older but you do not have to get old!” Chagall began his stained glass career at the age of 70 and went on to produce 15 sets of windows in various locations.  While Chagall was of the Jewish faith and spent his early years in the Orthodox Hasidic community of Vitebsk, Belarus, it is interesting to note the number of windows he did for Churches. This lecture is an in-depth study of these windows and well worth the time to discover the expanse in his creativity into the world of mosaics and tapestry.

* Lectures contain selected readings from fitting Biblical passages.

For additional information on any of the lectures or to book a lecture and/or a book signing event, contact Vivian Jacobson by email: ravi@pinehurst.net